Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
In Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” an American writer clambers into a yellow vintage Peugeot every night and is transported back to hobnob with Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Picasso, Dali, Toulouse-Lautrec and Gertrude Stein in the shimmering movable feast. The star-struck aspiring novelist from Pasadena, played by Owen Wilson, gets to escape his tiresome fiancée and instead talk war and sex with Papa Hemingway, who barks “Have you ever shot a charging lion?” “Who wants to fight?” and “You box?”
Many Frenchmen — not to mention foundering neighbor, the crepuscular Casanova Silvio Berlusconi — may be longing to see that Peugeot time machine come around a cobblestone corner.
Some may yearn to return to a time when manly aggression was celebrated rather than suspected, especially after waking up Tuesday to see the remarkable front page of Libération — photos of six prominent French women in politics with the headline “Marre des machos,” or “Sick of machos.”